Friday, November 29, 2013

30% Off My Books This Weekend at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Those of you procrastinators who have been holding off on buying my books until a good deal comes around are in luck. Get 30% off any of my books at either Amazon or Barnes & Noble through Sunday, December 1st. The coupons are good online so you won't even have to fight the holiday crowds to bag the discount.

At Amazon use coupon code: BOOKDEAL

At use coupon code: BFRIDAY30

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Answering Questions on The Divine Dantes This week

The nice folks over at the New Adult group on Goodreads are hosting a Q&A with me all week about my latest novel The Divine Dantes: Squirt Guns in Hades (Infernal Trilogy #1). You can ask questions here:

What is The Divine Dantes trilogy?

If "The Divine Comedy" and "Catcher in the Rye" met on a smoky lawn at a rock concert, "The Divine Dantes: Squirt Guns in Hades" would be the outcome.

Reviews: “. . . a lively and good-natured work with a great deal of humor and wordplay . . ..”
—Publisher’s Weekly Reviewer

“ . . . reminds me a little of the fun I find in Carl Hiaasen or Christopher Moore, but he definitely has his own vibe . . . .” —Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Expert Reviewer

This New Adult novel is the first in a trilogy of laugh-out-loud books paralleling Dante Alighieri's classic poem, "The Divine Comedy," where the characters of The Inferno are encountered in modern times with surprising results. At the center is Eddie, a young rocker who is heartbroken after his girlfriend, Beatrice, leaves for Venice. This not only ends their relationship, but also the world's greatest two-person rock band. At Beatrice's request, Virgil-their erstwhile manager-cum-travel-agent guides Eddie to Europe to meet her without Eddie being in on the secret.

Will Eddie want to see Beatrice? Will the band get back together? And if it does, can Eddie settle on a name for it?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Asteroid with Comet-Like Tales and the First Comet Science Fiction Short Story in the English Language

The Hubbel telescope has recently spotted a strange asteroid with six comet-like tales. Whenever I hear interesting scientific news like this I always want to know if (and when) science fiction authors first wrote about such an event.

Turns out in 1835, Sir Thomas Charles Morgan (1783-1843)--husband of the popular novelist Lady Morgan--came pretty close. He wrote the first science fiction short story where the protagonist rides on a comet that he controls by a "filial or two" of concentrated gravity. The tale is called "Glimpses of Other Worlds" and you can find it my recently published anthology - Mesaerion: The Best Science Fiction Stories 1800-1849.

Friday, November 8, 2013


There has been much discussion about John Polidori, the young Italian doctor that travelled with Lord Byron and who wrote the first vampire short story in the English language. Polidori titled it "The Vampyre" and the story was published in 1819.

But who was the first American to write a vampire short story? That honor belongs to Robert Charles Sands, a lawyer and poet. His excellent story was titled "The Black Vampyre: A Legend of Saint Domingo" and it was published only a few months after Polidori's vampire story in 1819. "The Black Vampyre" is difficult to find. I spent time at UC San Diego spooling through microfiche and then copying the individual pages, which then had to be scanned into a computer. I included it in the award-winning BlooDeath: The Best Vampire Stories 1800-1849, along with a lengthy introduction about Sands and the interesting bond that joins these earliest vampire stories in the English language.